Saturday, November 17, 2007

Look At the Girls, and See If You Love Them

I just heard one of the greatest albums ever, Billy Nicholls' forgotten Would You Believe, originally released by Immediate in 1968 but deleted after a promotional run of 100 copies only. This was his first record under his own name (he was still a teenager after all) and was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham who owned the label. Steve Marriot of The Faces and many other well-known musicians were enlisted and many of these songs have subsequently reached much bigger success recorded by other artist. One example, not of success though, is Dana Gillespie's amazing album Foolish Winter that contained two Nicholls compositions. The album has been called an English Pet Sounds, and it was certainly created with that goal in mind. Perhaps Nicholls' songwriting can't compete with Brian Wilson's, but this is absolutely one of the best psych-pop albums I have heard. It was reissued in 1999 on both cd and vinyl.

1 comment:

brogues said...

Always makes me chuckle that Del Shannon of all people recorded some of Nicholls' songs. I feel bad that I didn't introduce to Billy's work when you were in Glasgow ... I kinda assumed you'd already heard it. Ach well ... glad you like it!

d

PS Can't remember where I heard it (liner notes?) but there's a good story about when he handed his demo to George Harrison who was bewildered to discover that the tape was just a recording of the current hit parade. Turned out that Nicholls' sister had recorded it over his songs!